Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Decision Making and The Will of God

One of the most helpful pieces in discerning our decision to begin a new ministry in Kaufman was Wade Hodges' book, Before You Go. I'm grateful to Wade and his influence on my life over the last several years. I've told him before that even though we haven't spent a lot of time together I appreciate him. His book is a thoughtful reflection on making good transitions and I appreciate his transparency about his own failures and wisdom he learned through the journey.

As I read the book, I realized that I was praying that God would make the decision about whether or not we should leave Huntsville. I was praying that God would provide a "burning bush" or a "light from heaven" that would have made the decision very clear. This type of praying is often utilized in decision making situations. However, I wonder if it is actually how we should be praying?

Think about this way: If there are multiple doors for a person to walk through, praying for a "sign" seems to suggest that we need a sign in order to pick the right door. But what if the sign never comes? Or what if I misinterpret the sign?
What if, instead, we saw the "doors" as possibilities that are available to us and instead of worrying about choosing the wrong door, God just wants us to have faith to walk through one of them?
(Of course praying for wisdom and asking others to join you in praying for wisdom and listening to the Spirit's leading and going to Scripture are all necessary parts of the process. I'm assuming that is already happening. Uninformed, blind, decision making has never been a great option.)

But somewhere in the process I realized that I was praying for God to make the decision so that I would not have to make the decision. And this is very different and seems to require much less faith.

And then I read the line in Before You Go that nailed me: "You can’t take the chance out of life."

I wanted God to make the decision so that there would be less risk involved on my end. If God made the decision then I have no skin in the game, no investment. Doesn't it seem that we need some investment in the risky business of following God? Eliminating risk in a move (or in any decision) so that everything would be smooth and easy doesn't seem to be an honest approach to decision making.

What about you? What have your experiences been in praying about decisions?

1 comment:

Chris said...

I completely agree with you. Phillip Cary discusses this in his book "Good News for Anxious Christians: 10 Practical Things You Don't Have to Do". I hope things are going well and the family is getting settled in!